South Island Volcano | John Seach


(Honel Island)

2.63 N, 36.60 E
summit elevation 700 m

South Island is the largest island in Lake Turkana, northern Kenya. It lies 19 km from the southern edge of the lake shore.

There are 16 craters on the island aligned on a central ridge. In the northern part of the island there are lava flows (over 10,000 years old) which reached the coast. The island has a central ridge running north and south which is composed of a series of ash cones.

On the east flank of the central ridge a series of lava flows have covered the whole side of the island making it is almost impassable on foot. The western slopes are covered with soft ash. In the northern part of the island the most recent volcanic activity produced small flows of black lava that extended over ashes following the contour of the ground like black glaciers.

There is a legend among the Turkana people that a number of fires used
to be seen on the island and that they gradually died away till none were left. This may have indicated volcanic activity at South Island.

1934 Expedition Fatalities
An expedition to Lake Rudolf (Turkana) in 1934 resulted in the deaths of two expedition members (Dyson and Martin) near South Island. During a search two tins, two oars, and Dyson's hat were found on the west shore of the lake, over 100 km north of the scene of the accident. Mysteriously, the boat also disappeared along with two 4-gallon buoyancy drums.

Further reading
Karson, J.A. and Curtis, P.C., 1994. Quaternary volcanic centres of the Turkana Rift, Kenya. Journal of African Earth Sciences18(1), pp.15-35.

South Island Volcano Eruptions